It’s official – Netflix landed Tim Burton’s Addams Family live-action series with an eight-episode order for a spin-off focused on Wednesday’s iconic character Addams.
Titled Wednesday, the coming-of-age comedy written by Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar and directed by Burton, is a research mystery, supernaturally infused, retracing the years of Wednesday Addams as a student at Nevermore Academy. Wednesday’s attempts to harness his emerging psychic ability, thwart a monstrous murderous frenzy that has terrorized the local town, and unravel the supernatural mystery that confused his parents 25 years ago – all while navigating his new and deeply tangled relationships in Nevermore.
The YA series, Wednesday Addams’ first solo vehicle, marks Burton’s first live broadcast and his debut as a TV director. Him and Gough and Millar, who will serve as showrunners on the series, executive products. Wednesday is produced by MGM / UA Television, which controls the underlying intellectual property rights.
As Deadline first reported in October, MGM / UA TV pulled the project last fall with Gough & Millar attached and Burton in negotiations, securing multiple deals, with Netflix seen as the likely winner. Wednesday marks familiar territory for Millar and Gough who successfully explored the coming-of-age story of another iconic character, Superman, with the hit series Smallville.
“When we first heard Al Gough and Miles Millar’s speech for Wednesday we were struck, like the arrow of a crossbow, in the heart. They nailed the tone, the spirit and the characters, but gave us a new direction in this story, ”said Teddy Biaselli, director of the Netflix original series, calling the character the“ ultimate lone wolf ”on Wednesday. “Then we got the call that visionary director and longtime Addams family fan Tim Burton wanted to make his TV directorial debut with this series. Tim has a history of telling empowering stories about social strangers like Edward Scissorhands, Lydia Deitz, and Batman. And now he’s bringing his unique vision to Wednesday and his spooky classmates at Nevermore Academy.
Television writer-producer Kayla Alpert (Code Black, Up All Night) as well as several producers associated with the intellectual property of the Addams family: Andrew Mittman for 1.21 (The Addams Family, Alphas), Kevin Miserocchi (Tee and Charles Addams Foundation), Jonathan Glickman for Glickmania (Respect, Addams Family 2) and Gail Berman (The Addams Family, Alphas).
The story of The Addams Family, a fictional house created by American cartoonist Charles Addams in 1938, has had a number of screen iterations over the years, including two live television series; a live-action movie franchise, and most recently an animated MGM film with the sequel falling in 2021.
Christina Ricci, the actress most closely associated with the character, starred in the two feature films on Wednesday, The Addams Family in 1991 and on Addams Family Values in 1993.
Wednesday Addams was played by Lisa Loring in the original series. In the first animated series, she was voiced by Cindy Henderson and Debi Derryberry in the second animated series, both of Hanna-Barbera. Wednesday is played by Nicole Fugere in the film directly on video Addams Family Reunion and the Fox Family Channel TV series TThe New Addams Family, both produced in 1998.
The Addams Family: A New Musical made her Broadway debut in April 2010 with Krysta Rodriguez as Wednesday. Most recently, Chloë Grace Moretz spoke on Wednesday in MGM’s 2019 animated film The Addams family.
Burton previously developed and produced the animated series Beetlejuice, loosely based on his 1988 film, which ran for four seasons from 1989 to 1991.